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Comment University Nanosats (Score 2) 117

Professor James Cutler:

Prof. Cutler works on novel nanosats and how to streamline the nanosat process. He will probably push you off to his students, but I am sure they can point you in a better direction, what sort of commerical off the shelf (COTS) parts you can get and applicable restrictions.


Submission + - Youtube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music Owned By "Rumblefish" ( 2

eeplox writes: I make nature videos for my Youtube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music.

But when uploading my latest video, Youtube informed me that I was using rumblefish's copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me.

I disputed their claim with Youtube's system, and Rumblefish refuted my dispute and confirmed that:

"All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content:

Entity: rumblefish Content Type: Musical Composition"

So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish's exclusive intellectual property.

My only option at this point is to lawyer-up and fight it out in the courts, which of course isn't going to happen over a Youtube video that'll only be seen by a few hundred people. More likely I'll just end up deleting the video.

Comment Aerospace Engineering Graduate Student (Score 5, Informative) 283

I am an Aerospace Engineering/Mathematics Grad Student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I do more theoretical work now, but I think I can offer a little advice.

If you want to stay state side I would also recommend (in no particular order) you look at U of M, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Cornell (Aero/Mech), Caltech, Stanford (Aero/Mech) and the University of Maryland (more aeronautical).

The biggest thing is to get involved with research projects. Look at current professors and their research interests, see if they have anything related to satellite/rocket design. Do not be afraid to ask/e-mail. Professors and grad students alike love getting undergrads involved, perhaps because they usually come free.

If you do look at Michigan I can recommend looking at Professor Cutler and his RAX project or professors in the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (AOSS) department. Several people from my graduating class who took Aerosp 483 went on to SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Aerospace, so there is a network.

For more U of M information look at:
Professor Cutler:


Submission + - Feds storing checkpoint body scan images ( 2

AHuxley writes: The US Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."
It turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images.
The U.S. Marshals Service admitted that it had saved ~35,314 images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.
The images where stored on a Brijot Gen2 machine. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction to stop the TSA's body scanning program.

Comment Very tricky (Score 3, Informative) 85

I hope you are not intending on photographing a meteor from a telescope.

The most common thing to when photographing meteor showers is to point to the pole star and set your SLR (hopefully manual, film based on a tripod with a cable for the shutter) to a B setting and take a shot for a couple of hours. This produces really nice star trails and the occasional meteor.

If you are piggybacking the camera to a telescope you should not have any issues with the motor vibration, but you will need to beware of wind.

Save up your money and buy a Meade LX200, you can now get the older models (I personally think are better) for around 2000$US, combine that with a wedge and reticle eyepiece and you are ready to go. The thing really is a light bucket and something you will be happy with, with a little training you can even work out the periodic error correction with the scope so you can do astrophotography with the camera for the eyepiece.

If that is not satisfactory, build an adjustable wedge and buy a motor that rotates at 15 deg/hour and attach the motor to the top of the wedge with a camera on it.

Comment CFD or Load Analysis? (Score 2, Informative) 105

Are you looking for real CFD software for pressure distributions or are you looking for something that returns lift, drag, side and moments?

On the CFD side: OpenFOAM. Learning this is quite a bit of work because you need to work with meshing, boundary conditions, etc. But I would be very surprised you really want flow visualisation.

For loads: XFOIL or AVL (Athena Vortex Lattice, AVL allows 3D visualisation of loads, perturbations, etc. When it comes to a first iteration in aeroplane design this is first thing we use in academia and is quite nice. XFOIL is 2D and is used for analysis on an aerofoil. Both allow arbitrary geometries, but I believe both are strictly for inviscid flows.

What theories in particular are you trying to validate?

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